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Mukhadram thrills with final workout ahead of Eclipse bid

Mukhadram came through his final piece of work with flying colours ahead of his rematch with Royal Ascot conqueror Al Kazeem on Saturday. Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager Angus Gold was pleased to report that trainer William Haggas was “thrilled” with the colt after Richard Hills rode him on Wednesday morning.

Jockey Paul Hanagan received widespread acclaim for his ride on Mukhadram at the Royal meeting despite the fact that he was collared close home by James Doyle on Al Kazeem. With a likely field of only seven runners on Saturday it seems highly likely that a similar front-running role will be adopted in the Eclipse.

Gold was happy to confirm that Hanagan will not hesitate to take up the running as he will be keen to make the most of Mukhadram’s great action and long stride. Aidan O’Brien is set to run two horses but it is highly unlikely that either will be asked to force the pace.

The well-backed Mars (9-2 from 5-1) has been held up in all of his races this season. Declaration of War will be stepping up from a mile in the Queen Anne Stakes and will presumably be restrained in the early stages to conserve his energy for the closing stages.

The Fugue is another who has run all of her best races when held up which leaves only German raider Pastorius and the outsider Miblish. Clive Brittain’s colt did make all at Kempton in March so could conceivably give Hanagan some company in the early stages. Wherever Mukhadram goes, it is a safe bet that Al Kazeem will follow as Doyle will not be giving him too much rope.

Richard Hughes has been booked to ride Miblish with Olivier Peslier confirmed as the rider of Pastorius. Peslier won the Prix Ganay on the colt in April and connections are optimistic that he can bounce back from a poor display in Singapore last time out.